Blog by Yessica Maher, los Angeles Native.

She explores life after marriage, starting a career in her late 30's, relationships, breaking cycles of abuse, online dating, self care, fertility and depression. 

It's all over the place, but so is living. 

Why Confidence is More Than Body Image

I was bathing suit shopping with a friend who told me she wished she had my confidence.  If I can accept the lower aspects of the people I love, then I have to accept the lower parts of who I am, and be willing to grow from where I am to where I intend to be. I've loved large men, even the morbidly obese. I've loved drug addicts.  I've loved narcissistic men who cared more about how I made them look, than how I felt.  I've loved materialistic men, and men with less attractive features. I didn't let bad hygiene keep me from love.  If I can love in spite of a less than ideal partner, what makes me any less loveable? I tell my autistic sons that Superman has super sensory abilities, but we would never call him disabled.  If he's not disabled, they're superheroes too.  If they're superheroes, and I am the curator of their future, what makes me any less than amazing?

I spend a decent amount of time each morning in my bra and panties, standing in front of a full body mirror like Linda Carter did when I used to watch Wonder Woman.  Hands on hips, proud of my . . . well, I like the way a good bra fits. From this angle, I can see all of me, and I refuse to look for imperfections.  That would be like watching the sun during a sunset, but ignoring the shifting colors in the sky and clouds.

I never take off the class ring my Dad bought me.  I refused a ring in high school because I always knew I'd eventually get my college ring.  It took 17 years for a 4 year degree, but I earned it without cheating or taking short cuts.  I did it with a young family, and through surrogacies, and I usually had to fight for and justify my plans to my husband because being a student meant I had less to offer him and the kids.  I still had to do all of the cooking and cleaning and studying, and coming to bed because he was tired of waiting up for me, even though I'd sneak out of the bedroom once he was asleep and bang out a paper into the early morning hours for class the next day.  For a while, kid2's greatest goal when he grows up was to be a graduate.  More than what I accomplished in school was what it looked like to my kids.

On any given day, if I pay attention, I can spot at least one person checking me out. He will usually be fully aware that it would be a waste of time to approach me, but he's looking and for a moment, he sees something he wants.  Ignoring these looks is part of survival as a female in a larger city.  No matter what you look like, people will look, and for a moment, you become a living centerfold.  Teenaged boys could have a breeze make them happy.  It doesn't take much to spark male imaginations. You can wilt at the blatant objectification, or let it empower you as you decide what that look means or doesn't mean to you. Keep your head held high, and consider your attraction a public service as you've probably brightened someone's day.

Wear the short skirt or low cut blouse.  Stuff yourself into those jeggings because feeling like stuffed sausage looks hot. (I actually don't own a pair of jeggings.) Sway your hips with each step you take, one foot directly in front of the other, shoulders back.  Choose the bikini.  Wear the heels that make your calves rock solid and lift your butt just enough. Always throw on your confidence.  No one can manufacture it or make it fit, except for you.

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